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Name members of 'gay lobby,' Vatican prelate challenges former Swiss Guard leader

January 23, 2014

One of the Vatican’s most influential prelates has challenged the former commandant of the Swiss Guard to name any officials of the Roman Curia who are members of a “gay lobby.”

Archbishop Angelo Becciu said that Elmar Mäder, the former Swiss Guard leader, should realize that accusations “must always be substantiated and proven.” Reacting to an interview in which Mäder had confirmed the existence of a gay lobby at the Vatican, the archbishop told the Italian daily La Repubblica that Mäder should follow up on his charge, and “tell us exactly to whom it relates.”

“We are willing to listen and take note,” the archbishop said. “Pope Francis wants first of all clarity and truth, and so do all of us.”

Archbishop Becciu is the Sostituto, or deputy Secretary of State, who supervises communications among the offices of the Roman Curia and meets daily with the Pope to handle internal paperwork.

The archbishop said that he was “surprised” by Mäder’s statement—which had supported an earlier, anonymous charge by another former member of the Swiss Guard. Archbishop Becciu said that it is unfortunate that as Pope Francis works to reform the Vatican, “there is someone coming back into the limelight with generic accusations.”


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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: nix898049 - Jan. 27, 2014 12:01 PM ET USA

    This is sounding more and more like a Dan Brown novel. Especially when the Commandant described those in the 'lobby' as more loyal to each other than the Holy See thus posing a security risk. Lord, have mercy!

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Jan. 24, 2014 10:56 AM ET USA

    La Repubblica is the same newspaper that Pope Francis gave controversial interviews to Eugenio Scolari. In the mid 90s, there was a horrific murder among the Swiss Guard. A recruit killed the commandant and his wife and then committed suicide. It has been alluded to that this incident was linked to the "gay lobby". The allegation was made that the former commandant was making attempts to seduce the new recruits. He would then have had to have had protectors in the Vatican itself.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jan. 24, 2014 10:50 AM ET USA

    Let the dice roll: Mader should publicly name names. When a priest in my own diocese says that at least 60% of the priests here are gay, then a cleanup is badly needed within the whole church. When things are wrong and you point it out to the clergy and you're ignored or asked to leave, you understand how the game is played. Pope Francis has a lot of work to do in this area but I won't hold my breath.

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Jan. 24, 2014 10:01 AM ET USA

    The ability and willingness of people in authority in the Church to seek to discredit those who bring up problems never ceases to amaze me. Does anyone seriously doubt the veracity of the Commandant's statement? If Archbishop Becciu truly wants names, he should have approached the Commandant privately rather than seeking to discredit him in the press.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jan. 23, 2014 9:34 PM ET USA

    So Archbishop Becciu is surprised? He is probably the only cleric in Rome who is in the dark. Does the Archbishop think that Pope Francis doesn't know the names. How can such a high official be so naive? Instead of whining about the Commandant why doesn't he do some investigation and find out a few facts for himself.

  • Posted by: shrink - Jan. 23, 2014 9:12 PM ET USA

    Becciu is too clever by half, impugning the motives of the accuser. Who do we believe, a former top cop, or a current top diplomat? "Legatus est vir bonus peregre missus ad mentiendum rei publicae cause." Given the PROVEN habit of Churchmen to lie about gay and pederast priests and bishops over the the last 50 years, my bet is on the top cop.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 23, 2014 6:59 PM ET USA

    Is the archbishop suggesting the commander is lying? A cui bono? Is the other Swiss Guard also lying? There is a lot of mysterious smoke here if there is in fact no fire, and I seem to remember that Pope Francis himself mentioned this lobby of perverts within the last 6 months. Surely the archbishop isn't saying.... No, of course not. But we all know that anyone unwise enough to name names would open himself up to nuisance lawsuits where the truth would be hard or maybe impossible to prove.